It all comes down to the weather

Well, my plans for the day changed again.

We’ve got high winds today, with an expected high of 29C/84F. I wanted to get the transplants out, though.

With the wind direction, I was able to use the picnic table under the old market tent by the fire pit. They won’t get full sun, but with the expected heat, that’s quite all right. They will still get some wind, which is good for them, but not enough to send them flying across the yard.

The next while is expected to continue with high temperatures, with high winds and a possible thunderstorm tomorrow, though only one of my weather apps is predicting that. Overnight temperatures are also expected to be quite warm.

I decided today was a day to do some direct sowing, while also raking up some of the grass clippings to lay down some much needed mulch. If we’re going to be getting thunderstorms, I want the soil protected as much as possible. If we don’t get the thunderstorms, I want the soil well mulched to keep it moist, and from getting too hot!

I set up the extra phone to take time lapse video, so that will be put together for another post. With the peas, I planted the free Hedou Tiny bok choy from Bakers Creek and Jebousek lettuce I got for free from Heritage Harvest. As the peas grow up the chain link fence, they will shade and shelter the lettuce and bok choy. Then I prepped and planted the Tom Thumb popcorn.

I don’t know if I’ll have the energy to get back out there again today, but I’d really like to transplant the Black Beauty and Indigo Blue Chocolate tomatoes. They are getting quite large, and I’d rather transplant them than pot them up again. That and it would mean a fewer trays to take in and out every day! As it is, there were some Spoon tomatoes that didn’t make it, and removing the pots meant I could combine 3 trays into 2, with some judicious rearranging. When I transplant the bigger tomatoes, I want to transplant some of the onions in with them, too. The Black Beauty tomatoes are determinate, but the Indigo Blue Chocolate are indeterminate, so I need to consider the different types of support they will need. I also need to resist transplanting all of them, if I start running out of space. We had very good germination rates and few losses, and it’s the paste tomatoes that I want to have a lot of. I can always give away the extras! It’s the same for the remaining peppers. We have a 100% germination rate on all but one variety, and of that one variety, there’s only one peat pellet didn’t germinate – and I only planted one seed per pellet!

With the way things are looking, we may have to start doing outside work in the morning and late evening. The hottest part of the day tends to be around 3pm, but stays hot until about 6 or 7.

In my youth, I wasn’t bothered by the heat the way I am now. Makes it harder to get things done!

The Re-Farmer

Exhausted, and Facebook thieves.

This is why I’m exhausted. At least physically.

It was too windy to start taking down trees, though from a direction that allowed me to take the transplants out. So instead, I started mowing the driveway and outer yard. The inner yard really needs a mow, too, but not as urgently as the outer yard. That and I had the gate open for a prescription delivery, so that gave me a chance to mow all the way to the road, which is behind me in the picture above.

You can really see how far I had been able to scythe and mow the grass last year, and where I couldn’t. I was basically mowing old hay with fresh grass growing through it, which meant constant back and forthing in small sections to get it done.

This will need to be raked up so it doesn’t smother the grass below. I am quite happy to have it for mulch!

I mowed until I ran out of gas a second time and then just stopped. I was physically done for the day! Thankfully, today was a cooler day – as I write this, we’ve reached our forecasted high of 18C/64F – making it much more pleasant to work in. That’s about average for this time of year. The next couple of days are supposed to be in the 28-29C/82-84F range. The record high for today is 30C/86F, but the record low is -3C/27F, so I’m not about to complain!

Before I started on the mowing, I had to head into town to get more cat kibble. We ran out of outside cat kibble awfully fast for an 11kg bag. I had gone into town a couple days ago and looked for some, but a 9kg bag was almost $44, so I figured I could wait. This morning, however, I finished off the bin for the outside cats – and that was after adding the last of the kibble from a bag for the inside cats. They still have enough in a bin to last until I can do the big shop, plus wet cat food, but there was no more spare for the outside cats.

While I was in town a couple of days ago, which was Victoria Day and a statutory holiday I completely forgot about, my daughter gave me her wallet and asked me to pick up some hoagies for her.

I wasn’t able to do that.

The entire section was completely empty!

I was also finding other sections strangely empty – until I thought about it and realized that the empty shelves were basically all for BBQ/picnic type stuff, including certain condiments. I’m thinking some organization was having a big first BBQ of the year and cleaned out the supply!

So I went to a different store today, hoping to find kibble at a better price. The same brand name 9kg bag was even more expensive, but they did have a house brand that was a reasonable price.

While I was there, I went ahead and looked to see if they had any hoagies. They had lots, but…

… I just about had a heart attack over that price! Those bags aren’t any bigger than the ones the other store normally carries.

Yes, the labels on this brand say Smokies. We call them hoagies.

No, I didn’t buy any.


While I was there, I ran into someone that I know that works there, and he started asking me if I was moving.

Yup. My Facebook thief was at it again, with posts listing items for a moving sale. The same post they’ve sent out at least twice before, that I know of.

I’ve had friends send me screen captures of all the stuff I’m supposedly selling. I had sent a friend request to this person from my new account which, understandably, he ignored. Usually, it’s the friend request from someone already on your friends list that is the fake! So I told him what happened, and asked him to report my old account and any strange posts like this. He then told me that he started to suddenly get Messenger messages from someone on his friends list that were very odd. Asking for help, much like the message that fooled me. He’d been ignoring them, since this was someone who normally never communicates with him, but suddenly he was getting all these messages asking “why won’t you answer?”, etc.

I had also had a chance this morning to talk on the phone with a friend from where we lived before moving here. On seeing strange posts from “me” about giving away a PS5 because I caught my “boyfriend” cheating me, she actually DM’s “me” to ask if I was okay, and what happened with my husband. The thief tried to pretend to be me and said “I” got a divorce because “I” caught my husband (no longer a boyfriend? 😄) cheating on me. It became pretty clear this was not me, and she asked for my husband’s name and where did she live, only to have the person start playing a guilt try, saying things like “why are you asking me all these questions”. So I was able to clear that up with her, too.

When I was outside mowing, the pharmacy delivery driver arrived, and we talked for a while. He saw the “moving sale” I was supposedly having, too. I asked him to report my original page and any posts from it. By this time, because people were getting confused with my new account and old account (my new account’s name was almost identical to my old account) I had changed my display name a bit. Hopefully, people would still recognize that it’s me, but not get mixed up with the old account.

One of the things that I noticed about the screencaps of comments people are sending me, is that there are people showing interest in these items “I” am selling, but I have no idea who they are. They are not on my original friends list. Either they got added after my account was stolen, or the thief is using other stolen or fake account to leave comments and make the scam post look legitimate.

It might be working.

As I was writing this post, I got a message from another friend, with screen captures of someone commenting about the PS5 giveaway, saying he’d take it and offering to pay for shipping. This was an online friend I’d already reconnected with, but not someone I know in person, so I quickly sent him a message, explaining about the screencap of his comments. I thought there might be several possibilities: either he really did think this was me (even though I messaged him about my stolen account after sending a friend request), he knew it wasn’t me and was trying to play the thief, it was being posted by a cloned account, or his account was stolen, like mine was.

It turned out he’d been tricked!

I’m so glad I stopped working on this post to message him right away, because while we were chatting, the thief contacted him and asked for $61 for shipping.

And this is why these scammers steal accounts. Some people actually fall for their fake posts, and send them money, thinking they are sending money to someone they know.

He responded by telling them to F off. Then he sent me the response he got to that…

“You sound skeptic from your last message, that very wrong if you think am here to play you or just trying to take advantage of you. When I know how people work hard nowadays to get money, I will never think of taking someone advantages over you and playing you, please take that out off your mind that is really awful thing on the earth that I will never think about doing.”

As if that weren’t enough, while I was chatting with my friend that sent me the screencaps, and the guy who almost got scammed, I got a message from someone I don’t know, but we have a mutual friend (I have my settings so that “friends of friends” can contact me). They saw the moving sale list and were interested in the 55″ TV and wanted to know the make and model number. How they ended up DMing me to my new account, instead of my original account, I don’t know, but I’m glad it worked out that way. I told them about the stolen account and asked them to report it. When I found out about the other person getting the message about sending money for shipping, I let them know about that, too. Not long after, they let me know that they told my thief that they were reporting them, and the thief took the ad down.

So it looks like, when they make these posts and tag people on my original friends list, the posts show up on their profile pages, and their friends can see it, too. Which would explain the people I don’t know being able to comment on “my” posts – they’re commenting through someone else’s page. The farther removed the viewers are from the stolen account, the easier for them to be tricked, since they don’t know me and wouldn’t recognize that these are not things I would normally post. The friend I talked to on the phone this morning told me she had gone looking through my old profile page, trying to figure out what was going on. She noticed that a lot of things that she saw me sharing in the past (I hit the share button a lot!) were gone, leaving only innocuous posts about Advent or other holidays. Even the posts she saw before, like the one where “I” was giving away a PS5 because of a cheating boyfriend were gone. Those ones get reported so much, Facebook might actually be taking them down, too.

You’d think, with so many people reporting the account as hacked, me reporting it as stolen from me, and even my finally being able to send in proof of ID, Facebook would finally clue in that there’s a problem with this account. But nope. Even with the ID part, where it says the identify confirmation is done by both automated systems and a real human being, did not seem to work. They seemed to think I was trying to recover my new account, not my original account. You have to be logged out to go through this process, but you still start from the “recover your account” stage, where I would have found my original account (which I can do because I got a notification telling me what my primary email address had been changed to, but was never able to use the “if this wasn’t us, click here” option) and gone from there.

It is such a mess, and Facebook has been so incredibly useless. If it weren’t for the fact that someone is actively using my account, pretending to be me, while trying to scam people, this would be the thing to drive me off Facebook completely.

While going through all this, I am hearing from SO many people who have had their accounts hacked, stolen or cloned, or had strange messages from people similar to the one that fooled me.

With Facebook being so useless about recovering accounts, it’s no wonder. The scammers are having a field day.

Which all leaves me with another level of exhaustion. I am wasting so much time dealing with this.

The Re-Farmer

Got some stuff done, and a seedling mystery!

Well, I am just a sucker for punishment or something.

I headed out this afternoon and ended up checking the push mowers. We still have my mother’s old mower. We bought the other one when I simply couldn’t start it anymore. The prime pump needs to be replaced. Though that’s not the only thing wrong with it, it’s the one thing that keeps it from running.

After checking over the newer mower, I gassed it up and got it started. It took a while, but once it got going, it started on the first pull again, as usual. It needs a new air filter, and I was sure I had a spare, but can’t find it.

Then, since it was running and had gas, I decided to do a bit of mowing.

In the super tall and thick grass that never got mowed at all last year.

In what was probably the hottest part of the day. It’s past 6pm as I write this, and we’re at 29C/85F right now, so it was at least that, at the time.

My goal was to mow a lane to the barn, making sure to pass close to the pile of garden soil.

This is after I mowed over it twice, at two different heights, sending the clipped grass towards the middle for easier gathering. You can see in the foreground, where the grass is greener. That’s as far as we’d been able to mow, last year. The dried grass is all the thatch from last year. The green grass on the left is misleading; it’s just like the part that I mowed, with the new grass is tall enough to somewhat hide the thatch. In reality, it’s almost all dead, dry grass and hardly any fresh new grass.

I raked the clippings into piles; this is after my daughter had already hauled away several loads with the wagon. Once I finished raking, I grabbed the wheelbarrow to help with the rest. The clippings are now in the main garden area, ready to be used as a mulch.

We’re going to have to take the mower in for servicing. I can’t see the problem, but the self propeller won’t self propel anymore, and when I tried to use it, it made an awful racket. I remember now that it broke last year, but we hardly use the self propeller, so I forgot about it. Of course, getting an oil change, the blade sharpened, and a basic maintenance check would certainly be in order. At least it’s still useable. And if we can get my mother’s old mower fixed, we could have two people mowing at once. The refurbished riding mower my brother bought us when we first moved here, sadly, is toast. Not only does a chain keep falling off (when we had it looked at, we were told that, for the cost of fixing it up, it wasn’t worth it!), rendering it immobile, but the tires need replacing, too. They’ve become cracked, and now one of them is completely flat. If we can figure out where to put it, we should get it out of the garage workshop our mowers and blowers, etc. are stored in, because it takes up a lot of space!


We got the small area we needed mowed clear; next priority is a path to the shed near the barn. Little by little, we’ll get the rest done, but the main thing is access to the garden soil pile and the barn. Raking up the clippings for use in the garden will help with the health of the grass, too, though it will likely take at least a couple more mows before we’ve dealt with all the old thatch.

That done, I did a bit of watering from the rain barrel. Hopefully, we’ll get that promised rain, because it’s going to need a refill!

The transplant trays in the sun room got watered, too. They didn’t dry up as much as if they had been outside today, but it still gets hot enough in there that, together with the fan and the cross breeze between the sun room and old kitchen doors, things dry out pretty quickly.

With the transplants, we have had a few losses. One of them was an African Drum gourd seedling that started dying when they were still set up in the living room. It never recovered, so I took the pot it was in and set it aside to make space in the tray. The pot, of course, dried out completely, so you can imagine my surprise when I saw green poking out! One of the drum gourd seeds that hadn’t germinated was breaking soil. So I found room for it in the tray with the one remaining luffa and watered it, and now there is a second seed germinating!

That was just one surprise, though. While tending the tomatoes, I found these.

A squash or gourd suddenly appeared in the pot on the right a couple of days ago, and now two more have shown up in the pot on the left!

I have no idea how these seeds got in there. I did reuse the seed starting mix from the few pots where seeds never germinated, mixing it in with the potting soil used to pot up the tomatoes, but I was pretty careful to remove anything larger from the potting soil. We’ve had issues with finding sticks and rocks in both the seed starting mix and the potting soil mix. Even when breaking up the soil from the used pots, I remember looking for the failed seeds and never found any, so I figured they’d rotted away. I have no idea what kind of squash these might even be, anymore. There are several possibilities.

Well, when the time comes, they’ll be transplanted and, if they survive, we’ll find out what they are!

With the heat we’ve been having, it is so tempting to start direct sowing – and we actually can direct sow the Montana Morado corn at the end of this week. My sister and her husband, who live south of us, but not as far south as my brother, put their garden in this past weekend. It’s traditional for a lot of people to put their gardens in on Mother’s Day weekend. For others, it’s the May long weekend – Victoria Day in most provinces – which is next weekend, but that’s still almost 2 weeks before our last frost date. As hot as it is today, we’ve now got a forecast a few days from now with a high of only 8C/46F and an overnight low of 3C/37F. Long range forecasts show days with highs of 23C/73F and overnight lows of 5C/41F, or 20C/68F highs followed by 4C/39F. That sort of temperature whiplash would be hard on our heat loving transplants, and we don’t have enough materials to protect them from the overnight chills.

Which is okay. We still have lots of work to do to prepare the existing beds, never mind build the new trellis tunnels we need for our climbers. One of the low raised beds is so full of weeds right now, you can hardly see where it is among the crab grass and weeds in the paths!

One of the things that keeps getting delayed is cutting the trees I need to make the trellis tunnel(s). Which is okay, because it gives me time to rework the design and construction in my mind. We talked about making low raised beds at the base of the tunnels 2 ft wide on the outside, with the tunnel’s vertical supports being part of the inside walls and a 4 ft wide path inside the tunnel. However, we’ve been working with beds at about 3 ft wide for growing space. I’m now thinking of going with beds 3 feet wide, with the tunnel’s vertical supports one foot in from the inside. This way, we can plant our climbers inside the tunnel, and still have 2 ft wide growing space on the outsides. That would add 2 feet to the horizontal distance between the vertical supports.

I think it’s doable, and the dimensions will better match the high raised beds we will be building.

In the end, the final decision will be based on what materials we can scrounge together.

We shall see how that works out!

The Re-Farmer

Our 2023 garden: moving day! and cat damage. 😥

Today, we’re supposed to reach a high of 20C/68F. It’s not even noon yet, and we’re already 17C/63F. Considering that yesterday, while working in the old kitchen garden, I was getting too hot at 16C/61F, my plan was to start on the other bed earlier in the day, while things were still cooler.

My daughter, however, made so much progress cleaning out the sun room (even though she was not feeling well, she kept at it!) that I changed my mind. Living things take priority, and our transplants really need to be moved out of the living room!

After a bit more organizing, arranging and setting up, this is what the sun room looks like now.

The largest plants – the Crespo squash and gourds – went on the shelf between the smaller windows, where they have a combination of the most space, and the most sunlight. I’ve got a tray with our first peppers and the lemon grass there for now, but that will likely be moved, later.

The swing bench was removed completely and will stay outside for now. That allowed me to set up the “table” along the west facing windows. There is a light hanging above them, as this area tends to get darker faster, and a second light will be moved over later. The tallest tomatoes went onto here.

I should probably start hardening off the onions. They can be transplanted before last frost, and could actually be out right now. At least the shallots. They’ll be going into the tiny bed in the old kitchen garden. I have not yet decided were to plant the red and yellow onions. They will likely be planted in between other things. I figure at least some of them will be going into the wattle weave bed. We’ll see.

Three trays of the Roma tomatoes got moved over as well. If I can arrange things well enough, I hope to move all the transplants from the living room here, except the ones that need to be potted up. Then I can start the last batch of seeds in the next few days, as this Friday is 4 weeks from our last frost date.

Before setting the shelves up, I found a solution for how to hang the lights. I put a pair of cup hooks in the old kitchen wall, and another pair inside the window frame opposite. I strung a rope across the window. I then attached two more ropes to the first on, in such a way that they can easily be slid from side to side. Those lines went up and over the black shelf. You can see one of them in the photo above. The lights have hanging chains with carabiners at the ends. I’ve got a light with its chain hanging from one of the hooks in the old kitchen wall, and the other being held up by the rope set up. I took advantage of the hooks on the old kitchen wall to hold the extension cord up and out of the way. Last year, I’d put a hook in between the two west facing windows and had a power bar set up. I likely won’t need it. These lights can be plugged into each other, so that only one needs to be plugged into a power source.

It is so good to finally get the plants in here! Plus, we can leave the ceiling fan going, so there’s a breeze to help strengthen their stems. Some of the Roma tomatoes are not doing well, and I think we lost some of both those and the Spoon tomatoes. We have so many, though, we will still have lots. I’m hoping the sun room will be a better environment for them.

Of course, this means we have to keep the sun room door closed, and I made a discovery. We’ve had the doors propped open slightly all winter, so the cats could go in and out. Today is the first time anyone has tried to close the doors in months.

The outside door won’t close.

That’s the one we had to replace with a salvaged door. It seems the sun room has shifted again, because the door is now getting stuck at the top. We’ll have to remove some of the wood again.

There was only one down side to this morning’s progress.

Cat damage.

It seems there was an altercation in my room while I was away. The corner of my craft table, where I also now have the cat shelf under the window, is my tea station. I came in to find the cat blanket knocked off the shelf and hanging over my tea stuff. There happened to be one of those big A&W mugs on the table. It was on the floor, in pieces. I was in the middle of things, so I messaged the girls to take care of it for me.

Along with the broken mug, they found these.

My lizard incense holder has lost his head! Sadly, the lid to my (fake) sugar bowl was cracked and (fake) sugar was spilled all around. The matching creamer was among the things broken by the movers, but I think I can glue these two back together.

I really wish I could leave my door open!

Ah, well.

Later on, I’ll see about taking care of the rest of the transplants. The old kitchen garden can wait another day.

Oh! I just checked the post office tracking! Our raspberries are in! Unfortunately, today is Wednesday, and the store closes at noon, so the post office is, too. I’ll have to pick those up, tomorrow! The trees and potatoes tracker still says they’ll be in on on May 9.

I’m really looking forward to planting the trees and bushes!

The Re-Farmer

Sneak peak, and I am such a friggin’ idiot

I spent much of the day working on the old kitchen garden. We reached highs of 16C/61F, almost no wind, bright and sunny. It got ridiculously hot, and I had to stop for a couple of breaks in the middle of it. That, and my phone kept going off with notifications that I wanted to check.

More on that later.

I was set up to do a time lapse video, and I’ll be continuing in another bed tomorrow, so this is a sneak peak of the first finished bed.

I ended up building it one level higher than I was originally expecting to, which means I’ll need to find another tree or two to work on the other one! I might add more garden soil to this later but, at this point, I’m calling it done.

Now for the idiot part.

One of the notifications I got was from a friend from high school that we’re connected with on Facebook, saying hello using Messenger. When I took a hydration and lunch break, I responded. By the time I finished up and was ready to go back outside, I could see she hadn’t looked at my responses yet, so out I went again.

When the heat started to get to me, I headed back inside and found she had responded. She was having some issues logging in with her Facebook, and was asking for my help. I knew of a security feature that allowed for approved friends to help with that. Still, I did check, scrolling up the message feed and confirming that there were past conversations. After all, I’ve had people message me from cloned accounts before. The past messages were there, and it seemed legit, so I helped out.

Then, like and idiot, I accidentally gave the person access to my own personal Facebook account, allowing them to log in with a new password. I was actually using my Facebook account at the same time and, suddenly, both my Facebook and my Messenger were logged out, and I realized what happened.

I could still log into my Re-Farmer account, and promptly changed the password. It was only later that I saw emails to my personal email, my backup email, and even my Re-Farmer email, telling me my password was changed and that my personal email had been removed as the primary email from my personal Facebook account. At least that one sent me the email address that it was changed to. The first part of it matched my back up email for my personal account.

On the plus side, other security features has ensured my other accounts were not compromised. I was able to find where to report the theft, so now it’s up to Facebook.

If I hadn’t been in the middle of things as I was, I probably would have caught on, but then again, maybe not. It’s hard to say.

Meanwhile, my Facebook, Messenger (which I used a lot) and Instagram (which I have pretty much stopped using), are now controlled by someone else.

I was able to let some people know about it. My husband was able to post a comment about my page, which is still up and unchanged, as of this writing, saying that my profile had been stolen.

What a pain. The good thing is, I don’t have anything of value as far as personal information on there. The one thing that is of value is my friends list, so I’m trying to warn as many people as I can, in case they start getting message from me like the one I got that I thought was from my friend.

We shall see how that plays out.

Until then, there isn’t much I can do but wait and see what Facebook does.

So tomorrow, it’s back to work.

Considering how much time I tend to be on Facebook, I might just end up being more productive because of this! 😄😄

The Re-Farmer

Our 2023 Garden: poppies are in (video)

Well, I wasn’t able to get progress images of what my daughters did, but I did get to set up another time lapse video later on. I was able to reclaim the bed by the chain link fence and sow one variety of bread seed poppies.

Having the rake handle break on me while I was clearing outside of the chain link fence was a bit of a downer! We had others I could have used, but I just kept using it, anyhow. It got the job done!

Also, I had a lot of cats visiting me while I worked!

I hope you enjoy the video. 😊 If you select to watch it on YouTube, you can hit the like and subscribe buttons, if you wish.

The Re-Farmer

Well, we’re ready!

Or, as ready as can be, for the moment.

I did a lot of highway driving today, and my last stop was to pick up the replacement tub surround. It just barely fit into the back of my mother’s car! I actually couldn’t close the hatch after taking this photo, and had to lift the other end to rest on the back of the front seats, first.

The surround I’d found online wasn’t in stock, so I ended up one that was a bit more expensive. I think it’s identical to the one we have right now. I also got the adhesive and caulking.

One handy thing with getting the same type of surround: after we take off the old pieces, we can use them to mark out exactly where to cut holes for the taps and faucet – and the screw holes for the arm bars. I would rather not make new holes into the walls if I can avoid it, plus they are currently in just the right positions, too.

Until we take off the old pieces and see what’s under it, we won’t know if what sort of damage there may be underneath. Only then will we know what else we may need to get to finish the job.

That won’t happen until the plumber makes it out. I left a message with him and he hasn’t called back yet, which is very unusual. I think I’ll call again.

Meanwhile, I also got the replacement fixtures, though again, not what I was originally looking for.

I did find the set that was just like what we have now, but for an extra $5, I got this one, instead. Levers instead of round knobs will be much better on arthritic hands.

We don’t need the shower head, since we have the hand held, but there were no sets without the shower head. Just sets without the faucet and diverter. Which is fine. An extra shower head is not a bad thing to have.

Now we just have to see how much the plumber will end up costing! Who knows. If all goes well, I might still be able to get my new glasses, after all!

On another note, my media storage on WordPress is well into the red zone. I’ve tried resizing old photos from blog posts made in our early days, before we realized just how limited our storage was, started resizing our photos to smaller file sizes and upgraded. My current plan with WordPress doesn’t exist anymore and is grandfathered in, and the next one up is way too expensive, when all I need is media storage space, nothing else.

So I have decided to go back and remove some older posts. For a long time, I had a Critter of the Day series, with photos of birds, deer, cats and other wildlife. I haven’t made those posts in a long time, and they don’t get hits anymore, so there’s no reason to keep them, even though they were fun.

Hopefully, that will free up a decent amount of storage space. I posted quite a lot of those!

The Re-Farmer


Well, today is going to be a day of rest, whether I intended it or not.

And a day of painkillers.

Last night, I finished setting up the living room so that, once we build the cat barriers, it will be a plant room.

We hardly use the living room. The aquarium greenhouses are there, so of course I’m checking on those regularly, as well as tending the few plants we’ve been able to keep in there without the cats absolutely destroying them. My husband’s leather working desk is there, but between the pain and the mind numbing meds, he doesn’t use it as often as he’d like. The TV (which was here when we moved in) is there, which we tend to forget even exists.

So it’s been cat heaven in there.

The whole room needed to be complete rearranged, which meant taking a lot of stuff out completely, then working section by section. Move stuff out of the way. Vacuum. Empty the cat hair filled cannister after a few passes. Vacuum again. Empty the canister. Clear the next section. Repeat.

The frustrating thing was discovering all the spots a couple of our boys has been spraying. Yes, all the males are fixed, but we have two that still spray, and in the most inconvenient and inaccessible spaces. Leyendecker didn’t start spraying until after he got blocked and miraculously survived. Gee, thanks, dude. 😕

It was also the time to do little things, like replace a ceiling hook with something stronger (I had to get my younger daughter to climb the little step ladder to do that for me!) for the grow lights, and set up a power bar in a better space, since where it was hanging before would be blocked by shelves. Thanks, M, for the Alien Tape! It works great!

We had the couch in the middle of the room, close to the TV, since when we do watch movies, we always use the subtitles. It’s a big TV, but it’s still hard to read the subtitles from across the room. Well, that had to change, so I took advantage of the situation to not only use the pet hair attachment on our vacuum cleaner on all sides, but to tip it over so we could find where that piece of spring I found when I first moved it came from. How that cats managed to snap that, I have no idea!

My daughters helped as much as they could, but it really was a one person job for the most part. One of the things that had to be moved out was this monster.

This is my older daughter’s jade tree that almost got killed during the move, because of how cold it got in the van when we stopped to try and sleep in the drive out. What started out as three small plants now has 7 trunks, and is thriving – in spite of many attempts by cats to destroy it! It is just massive, heavy, of course, and very awkward to carry! 😂 I can hardly imagine how big it would be, if it hadn’t had so many branches lost to the cold during the move, or broken off by cats.

We had the pair of these cheap, square Ikea tables side by side before but, with the new arrangement, they are now stacked on top of each other – and secured together. The girls found a way to secure the pot with a Bungee cord, so it couldn’t get knocked off by the cats. At some point, it needs to be transplanted into a bigger pot, which is going to make it even more difficult to move around! We do have wheeled plant platforms, but that’s not much use then the plant is several feet above the floor.

But it’s done. The mini greenhouse frame and several shelves (a couple of them are bookshelves converted from old TVs, back when the screens were in wooden cabinets) are now set up all along the window, stuff that was taken out are all back and in their new spots, and we actually have an open space in the middle of the living room, instead of it being cut in half by the couch and shelves. All we need to do now is get the cat barriers built and set up.

I look forward to the cats not having access to that room. Ever since I finished last night, they’ve been all over the place, investigating things and crawling into spaces they shouldn’t be in!

I “celebrated” by watching a movie when I was done.

From across the room.

Boy, do I need a new prescription for my glasses!

During the night is when I started paying for it all. My whole body has stiffened up, and everything is hurting – and that’s with painkillers!

A day of rest it is!

The Re-Farmer

A bit more updating

I think the outside cats are very happy the roof is done!

I think I actually counted 28 this morning, including two of the bitties that were under the cat house!

We have been having almost rain, almost snow, lately. Many trees look like they’re covered with hoar frost, but it’s actually a layer of ice.

Something I had to deal with when switching out the memory card on the gate cam!

The entire front was covered with a layer of ice! The camera lens has a plastic protector in the front cover. I spent some time trying to melt it away with the heat of my fingers, then trying to scrape it off. Then I use my palms to try and melt the ice off the solar panel. There’s not much I can do for the divots in front of the infrared flash lights. At least not without some kind of tool that can get in, but from the looks of the file, enough light is getting through that the night vision still works. At least as much as possible, when the lens itself has a layer of ice over it!

I went around the house this morning, taking pictures from the ground (not getting very good angles in most places!) of the new shingles, and moving a few things back that got missed.

This is what’s left of the chimney! A lot of the bricks are broken, but that’s okay. We will likely use these to make paths, and broken pieces can be used mosaic style.

While they were working on the roof, I’d burned a pile of wood over burnable garbage, adding a few old and rotten pallets I’d cleaned out of the yard in the process. This morning, I found this on the banked ash pile.

I’d seen these by the house while they were working and was wondering if they were going to keep them or not. It was too funny to see they’d added them to my burn pile!

They didn’t stay there. There’s some salvageable wood in there! I moved them to the barn. The bottom one was a bit singed by hot spots in the ash pile, but that one also has more broken pieces, of it was better for that one to be singed than the one that is in better shape. 😊

I got a message from my brother saying that he wanted to come over again – not as early as yesterday, though, thankfully! I told him I was leaving to meet with the cat lady, and thought I’d miss him entirely, but he was here when I got back. So I stayed outside after the cats and other stuff was unloaded into the house. There isn’t much I can do to help him, but I still wanted to be available!

I also took advantage of the daylight and walked around looking for “flyaways”. They cleaned up as best they could in the dark, but there was bound to be stuff they missed. Especially the clear plastic strips that covered the adhesive under the shingles. Those are hard to see, even in daylight, and are so light, they were blown around all over. There were also pieces of white plastic, on white snow, that were very easy to miss. I expect we will be finding more bits and pieces when the snow melts in the spring!

My brother sent me a picture of Dishy – after he secured it to the roof! It was held by only one screw. We figure they lost the other two while working around it.

My brother also tarred around the new anchor bolts he’d put in for the antennae wires, and checked the septic stack vents. There are two of them, and they were pretty blocked with debris. Not from the roofing job, but just from years of exposure. These vents are there to ensure no vacuum forms in the pipes as water drains to the septic tank. Now that they’ve been cleared, we should notice water draining better, throughout the house. He had a chance to talk to one of my daughters about it and, now that they know, they will include checking the vents when they’re up on the roof to clean the eavestroughs. They’d cleared those before the snow fell, but my brother found the downspouts were all full again!

Oh, and I had to laugh when I came outside this morning. Do you see the roof of the kibble house, behind the satellite dish? With something in the snow?

It is a forgotten can of A&W Root Beer! One of the guys must have put it in the snow, where it wouldn’t slide away, and would stay chilled, then forgot it there. 😄

There is one thing that we found – or should I say, didn’t find – that my brother is not happy with.

The parts and pieces from our old satellite dish that was still up there. Also, the remaining supports from the one that is now stored in the basement, that we’d left in place rather than leave screw holes in the roof.

I think they got taken to the dump. Those were not supposed to be throw away.

My brother will see if he can find out what happened to it when the company contacts him with the bill.

Oh, and he remembered to tell me something our mother had said when he visited her yesterday. She was complaining that none of the roofers, or someone from the company (I still haven’t figured out who she thinks it should be) came to visit her. Then she started saying that if they did any extra patch jobs on top of replacing the shingles, she won’t pay for it.

As in, if they found and fixed any rotted areas.

So… while talking to me, when I said they’d found no rot (only later did I find out they’d found and fixed one small patch of it), she was upset because she didn’t believe they’d recognise rot when they saw it, and/or that they would have put new shingles on top of rotten wood, rather than fix it, and the roof is gong to collapse like she saw on the news, who knows how long ago.

But in talking to my brother, she’s saying that if they DID fix anything beyond what was included in the estimate, she won’t pay them… for repairing the damage she doesn’t think they’d competent enough to recognise, and/or too corrupt to fix, therefore the roof is going to collapse.

My brother and I both know that she will try to go back on her word to pay for this, so he didn’t say much, or she’d get mad at him and use that as an excuse to not do what she promised she would do.

We will both be very relieved when the bill if finally paid!

Meanwhile, as my brother was up on the roof today, and I was picking things up around the house, he noticed a dark SUV suddenly slowing riiiiiggghhhttt down as it drove past on the main road. Slow enough to almost be stopped on the road.

It kept going until we could no longer see it through the trees, then I saw it going down the road by our driveway, as if it had driven around the other way. Which, since there is a “missing” road at a one mile mark, meant driving around an extra section (which is 1 square mile) to come back from that direction.

We both recognized the vehicle as one our vandal owns.

We saw it again, driving very slowly the other direction.

With the roofers coming, but not knowing when, we’ve had the gate wide open for quite some time. I went over to close it, but I looked down the road first. From our driveway, we can see open road for about 3/4 of a mile, but there was no sign of the SUV. I should have been able to see it. For it to be gone, it had to have turned into a field, and there are only two driveways into fields out there – one of them being part of this property, that is rented out. The other is a barely-their driveway that, as far as I know, doesn’t even get used in the winter.

I closed up the gate, then started walking back when I heard an engine coming.

Sure enough, it was the same SUV. Wherever it had disappeared to, it had turned around and come back, again driving ever so slowly.

So I started walking up the driveway towards the gate. Basically, I wanted our vandal to know that we could see him stalking around the property. When he saw me, he started driving faster, turned towards his place and didn’t come back.

Since he stayed on the road and never stopped, I don’t think he could be considered in breach of the restraining order we have against him, but he sure was on the edge of it!

My guess is, he noticed the new roof and was wanting to get a better look at what was going on, since he still seems to think he has some sort of claim on this place.

Which reminds me.

It turns out he’d called my mother again, though I’m not sure about the timeline of it. He said he wanted to come and visit her. She told him, sure, and started laying out the conditions of behaviour if he did. He’d responded by saying that he was going to be there on his own terms!

My brother asked her, why are you even wanting him to come over at all? What do you think he’ll do? She told him he’d probably do the same thing he always does; make demands, rant and rave, without letting her get a word in edgewise. So my brother asked again, why do you want him to come over? She started making excuses but, my goodness… if she knows he will only continue to be verbally abusive and coercive towards her, how does she think letting him come over will help?

So we’ll have to keep an eye out on my mother, in hopes she doesn’t self sabotage again.

Meanwhile, it looks like we’re going to have to make sure to keep the gate closed and locked again. I was hoping to be able to leave it open for the winter. There isn’t much snow right now but, last year, when the snow got so deep it was hard to open and close the gate, we left it open – which our awesome neighbors took advantage of and cleared our driveway for us, before we even knew they were there! It’s just a lot more convenient to not have to be constantly locking and unlocking the gate, either for ourselves, or for when we are expecting things like prescription deliveries, etc.

I’d hoped, after things had been so quiet for so long, our vandal was finally letting go, but it looks like he’s still watching us.

Just one more reason we want to plant lots of berry bushes and trees, as privacy screens! Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about the driveway.

I am really hoping we won’t have to apply to renew the restraining order when it expires, but I strongly suspect we might have to go through that all over again.

Ah, well. We will deal with what comes.

My brother managed to find all sorts of little things to do while he was here, going up and down the ladder many times, and in many different areas. While I was still gone, he even carried the step ladder up the ladder so that he could use it to get to the second level roof! I was very happy to be there so he could lower it down to me, rather than try and climb down the ladder while carrying the step ladder!

It was starting to get dark by the time he was done, and he still had errands to run. He just never seems to stop!

I love my brother, but as much as I appreciate all he does for us, I wish he would take a break sometimes! He’s burning the candle at both ends.

It’s all done, though! All that the roofers were responsible for, plus the extras my brother did.

This should make quite a difference! I’ll have to remember to ask the girls, over the next few weeks, if they notice a difference in temperature upstairs. It wouldn’t be much; it’s not like insulation was added, but those extra layers of plastic barriers under the newly laid shingles might be enough for a noticeable change for them.

The Re-Farmer

Today’s progress and news

The roofers were expecting to come early today, so I was up earlier than usual to do the morning rounds. One of my daughters was also up early, but my other daughter was up most of the might working on commissions, she she tried to sleep during the day, instead.

It almost worked! 😄

Meanwhile, I made a stew for the crew to have for lunch, along with some corn bread to go with it. 😊

The roofers were expecting to be done today, but I think he was also expecting to have a crew of five. They didn’t show up until almost 10, and there was only three of them. The supervisor had to do a lot of driving around to pick up the other crew members, and they don’t live anywhere near each other!

As they were working out how to set up, one of the things they wanted to do was move the trailer for the old shingles to the other side of the house, close to the sun room. The supervisor was very happy to find out that what he thought was the cover of a septic tank was actually the cover for our well, so he didn’t have to worry about driving over a tank. He’d wanted to have the trailer over the cap, with the wheels on either side, but ended up pulling in where I’d suggested, instead, just to one side. It wasn’t as close to the sun room like they wanted, but it was pretty much under the west side of the main entry’s roof, so it still worked out.

I remembered to talk to them about not being able to drop loads of shingles onto the roof of the sun room, like they did on the other side of the house. Those windows would shatter. They were able to accommodate by carrying up one bundle of shingles at a time, little by little.

Because the day was warmer and there was little wind, once everything was done inside, I headed out to do a burn. Along with our usual burning of paper garbage and the cat litter sawdust, I was finally able to get the nearby pile of wood done as well. When the branch pile was chipped and they left a stack of logs too big for the chipper, I piled them around some burnable garbage that didn’t fit in the burn barrel, so the whole thing could get done at once. Today, I finally got to light it!

Wow, did that bonfire ever throw heat! Even though the top was covered with snow, it burned very well.

When I heard them talking about stopping for a break, the fire had burned low enough that I could leave it to make sure the food was nice and hot. At one point, I noticed one of the guys head to the outer yard and took a look, only to find he’d gone over to the fire to warm up! 😁

After they had lunch and got back to work, I went back to tending the fire. We have a lot of rotten pallets that I’d originally intended to have hauled to the dump, but I’m just going ahead and burning them. Later, when it’s time to clean up the ash piles, I’ll have to make sure we clean out all the nails and other bits of metal in the process!

Eventually, I had a chance to wander around and see how things were progressing on the far side of the house.

The guy in the photo above is working directly over the bedroom upstairs – and my daughter that was drying to sleep has her bed under the slope of that roof. Every now and then, something would drop off a shelf of curios she has on her wall and fall on her head. When she put the shelf up, she did considered that possibility, so that side of the shelf has all softer items, and not her rocks and gemstones collection! 😂

One of the things that didn’t happen was the replacement of the roof cap from the bathroom vent. Typically, they would have removed the old cap, put on a new one, and sealed it in place.

Well… we have something different. We don’t have a top piece that comes off. It’s one long piece that goes all the way to the bathroom. To remove it, he would have had to cut a hold in the roof, replaced the whole thing, the patch the hole up again – something that would take at least a couple of extra hours. There was, however, no need to do it. What we have there is perfectly fine and doesn’t need to be replaced. So they’ll just reseal around it when they lay the new shingles down. That is going to be removed from the final bill, too.

I started to wonder, though, what was going on with the chimney, when I saw they were already putting new shingles down in areas. Eventually, I asked the supervisor about it.

He didn’t know it was supposed to come down!

He hadn’t noticed that on the work order, which gets texted to him. He was expecting to be here 2 or 3 weeks ago and, since then, he’s had four or five more work orders sent to him. He was very glad that I’d brought it up!

The East side of the roof is done, but they’ll only have to move two, maybe three, shingles to take off the chimney. They will set the bricks aside for me, rather than throw them away. There are so many bricks around here, and they come in so handy, I am happy to have more!

My brother will be happy that they didn’t take down the TV antennae, and just worked around it, instead.

There was no way they were going to finish today, though. The sun room side of the roof was taking a lot longer, partly because of the different angles coming together, and partly because of having to take off the old satellite dish, and move the Starlink dish. He did as us to shut off the dish while they were working around it, just in case, so we were without internet for several hours.

When they were removing the last of the shingles on the sun room, I asked about the leak there. He asked where it was supposed to be, because there was nothing they could see. I told him where we thought it was, and he said he would make sure to check.

There was no rot!

I’m just really amazed. I feared they would find all kinds of rot, but there was none. That is quite a relief!

They worked as long as they could, but we got hit with another snag. He had a trailer to haul the singles to the dump insured only until today. I local dump isn’t open on Fridays, but I got our card that we are supposed to show the attendant, as proof we live in the area (some landfills charge fees, so people had started going to landfills in other rural municipalities to avoid them). It has the days and times for two other landfills in our RM.

None of them are open on Fridays.

He had to start searching to find a landfill that was open today that they could get to!

They kept working and cleaning until it was almost too dark to see. Tomorrow, they will be back with just his truck, no trailer.

While all that was going on, I got word from the cat lady. The cats all had their spays and are doing well. She also saw her own vet with another cat and showed pictures of Muffin while there, for an off-the-record consultation. He doesn’t think the swelling is an abscess, after all, which is good news. Basically, he said to keep bathing the eye, monitoring and keeping up with the lysine.

Which we were able to start up again, today. I ran out a while back, and a fresh supply arrived today. I’ve set up a monthly subscription for three 300 gram tubs of powdered lysine to be shipped at the beginning of the month. The first shipment arrived, several days earlier than expected. With three tubs a month, we shouldn’t run out before the next shipment arrives.

Meanwhile, Muffin will need some TLC when she comes back to us, and we’ll probably get some antibiotics with her as well. We should be getting just the two cats back. It didn’t come up because we were focused on the care Muffin will need, but Plushy and Princess are looking like they will be going to a family with young children. These two love lots of attention, so that should work out just fine!

Speaking of attention, when one of the crew had come in for lunch, I noticed he seemed a bit distracted by something. It turned out our two, big tuxedo boys had come over to say hello, and he was quite happily petting both of them! Thankfully, he was not allergic to cats, like the other poor guy. We are a terrible place for someone with cat allergies – inside, or out!

Towards the end of the day, when the guys were still cleaning up, my mother called. I updated her and told her they were coming back to finish tomorrow. When I told her they didn’t find any rot on this side of the house, either, she just scoffed, then told me how she’d seen on the news about how some company and done a roof, and then it collapsed. I told her, they’re just putting on new shingles, not a complete new roof! It sounds like she saw a story about a construction company that did shoddy work and, because it involved a roof, projected it onto this roofing company. For all I know, she saw this news story a decade ago, but is just thinking of it now. It’s much the same with how she’d seen a story ages ago, about funeral homes that would sell caskets and then, after the funeral was done, take back the casket, replace it with a cheap one, and resell the fancy one, and now she thinks that’s what was done to my father’s casket. She even convinced herself that the foundation stone his monument is sitting on got stolen. It didn’t. It’s still there. But for some reason she got it in her head that the monument was lower than it should have been, therefore the stone under it was stolen. Never mind that heavy equipment would be needed to do something like that, and it would probably cost more to steal it than the stone was worth!

She also wants someone from the roofing company to visit her. I never quite got to figuring out just who she is talking about. The salesman? The crew? Some manager? Thankfully, one of the crew came in to update me. I had to call her back later, and the topic didn’t come up again. Instead, she started going on about how my brother wasn’t here (heaven forbid, he actually work at his own job!), and hadn’t phoned her. She was wondering about how the payment was going to be done. I told her that, once the work is done, they’ll know how much it actually cost to do it. Once they had the final bill, they’d talk to my brother about it, because he’s their contact person. But that won’t happen until the job is complete. My brother still fears she will try to back out of her promise to pay for it and try to screw the company over. If she does what she’s done to us in the past, she might demand to only pay part of it, not all of it. The last time few times she did that, my brother got stuck paying the rest. I’m really hoping she’ll behave, though.

As for the errands I was not able to help my mother with, she managed to do some of them herself. It was a very nice day today, so she took her walker out to the grocery store, did a stock up shopping trip, and the grocery store delivered it to her, later. The only thing she didn’t do was go to the pharmacy, which is quite a bit further. My sister, however, is now supposed to be there on Tuesday, which is when I’m taking my mother’s care to the garage, so she should be able to help my mother with getting her prescription refills. She still has quite a bit left, so there is no urgency.

Tomorrow is supposed to be even nicer. The temperatures are supposed to slowly keep climbing all night, rather than getting cooler, and things are supposed to stay mild for quite some time. I’m quite good with that!

I’m also quite good with the idea of taking some pain killers and going to bed very early today. It may have been a nice day, and the fire I was tending was very warm, but now I’m paying for standing around outside for so long (must remember to bring a chair!), and the pain levels are really starting to kick in!

Plus, I want to get up early to do my round again, then start on something for the crew for lunch. I’m thinking a meat loaf would be nice this time. 😊😊

The Re-Farmer